More often than we like to see, the effects of a personal injury can result in the ultimate devastation — the tragic and unexpected loss of a loved one. HAMSTEAD, WILLIAMS & SHOOK PLLC realizes that nothing we do can restore any semblance of what a family loses when death strikes. Yet, for some people, pursuing a claim can be a means of bringing closure to the tragedy. For others, pursuing a claim may be essential to restoring lost income to a family with needs and obligations to minor children. Whatever a family’s motivation may be for requiring answers to difficult legal questions, HAMSTEAD, WILLIAMS & SHOOK PLLC has the experience and toughness to get the results you deserve, and the compassion and sensitivity to help you cope with the crisis as well as possible. We provide a free consultation for prospective clients on personal injury issues. We charge contingent fees for cases we accept.
A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises from the death of an individual that was caused by the conduct of another. A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the actual victim (the “decedent”) is not bringing suit, rather it is the family members or the decedent’s estate. As such, a wrongful death claim is brought to recover damages for the injuries that the surviving family and/or estate have suffered due to the death of the victim. At Hamstead, Williams & Shook P.L.L.C., we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we help our clients achieve financial security so they can focus on recovering from their loss.
To file a wrongful death suit in West Virginia, you must show that:
- The death of a person was caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default;
- The act, neglect or default would have entitled the person to file an action to recover damages had the death not occurred;
- There are surviving beneficiaries, children, or dependents of the victim (W. Va. Code § 55-7-5);
- Monetary damages have resulted form the decedent’s death.
West Virginia law makes a distinction between persons who can file a wrongful death suit and persons who are beneficiaries. Only certain individuals can file wrongful death claims, and those that are allowed to sue do so on behalf of others. In West Virginia, a personal representative of the deceased person may file a suit on behalf of the surviving spouse, children or parents. A personal representative is a person appointed by the estate of the decedent to represent the beneficiaries.
In all matters involving personal injury it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Statute of Limitations. If you or a loved one is a victim of personal injuries, call Hamstead, Williams & Shook P.L.L.C. now at 888 – 298 – 2529. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a Contingent Fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.